Choosing your bedding is a simple enough matter, right? … WRONG! Bedding, along with sleep hygiene, is becoming gradually more complex, so that something that used to be common-sense now requires a little guidance….
There’s a lot to consider here and it can get slightly confusing, so let’s just take it one step at a time. We’ll kick things off with bed sizes and types, then move on to mattresses and finish up with sheets, duvets, and pillows. By the time we’re through with it all you’ll be set for the perfect night’s rest.
So first you’ve got a whole range of sizes from small single and double, all the way through to king size and even super king size. You need to think about two things here. The most obvious point is, of course, the amount of floor space available to you. However, it’s also important to carefully consider your own proportions. That sounds like something you don’t need to be told, but for the taller amongst us, a short bed can prove disastrous for good sleep and nonetheless be a feature of life that we just grow to accept. Remember: your feet should not hang over the end of the mattress!
Then there’s the type of bed itself. If you’re not down with the lingo then one of the most common types is the Divan. This is, in essence, a straight-forward rectangular bed which leaves the option of adding a headboard of your choice to the set-up. The headboards are where you can really get creative and express your personality. There are innumerable styles out there from luxurious velvet to adventurous leopard prints for adding that exotic touch to the bedroom.
As well as the standard style bed frame that includes a built-in head and foot section (the classic design that you’re doubtless familiar with makes impressive use of ornate metalwork in black or white) you’ll see a lot of Ottoman beds around these days. The beauty of the Ottoman is that it has an ingenious mechanism allowing the whole top section to lift up from one end. Check out the nice range of Ottoman beds here if you can’t picture it. The result is concealed storage space which is perfect for those always battling to find enough room for all their clothes, books and what have you!
That all-important mattress choice…
Then, of course, there’s the mattress choice. The traditional style is the sprung mattress which works by providing a kind of suspension for the whole body- as the weight is applied to the various sections of the mattress, the springs beneath compress to support the body. These work well but the new kid on the block that should be considered too is memory foam.
Memory foam is perfect for anyone in need of that extra support as it rapidly molds to the body but then returns to its original shape after sleeping. The impressive technology was originally developed by NASA, so you know it’s good! There are also copper infused memory foam option as well. If you’re into your detailed explanations then there’s a great piece here that tells you all you need to know about it.
A third option is the latex foam mattress. The great advantage of this type is that it’s hypoallergenic so ideal for anyone prone to disturbed nights by their sensitive immune systems. Additionally, it’s a very breathable material, so if you tend to overheat at night and regularly wake up in a sweat then this could well be an ideal way to ensure peaceful rest.
The traditionalists out there will no doubt still be using sheets and blankets rather than a duvet. This might be considered old-fashioned, but it’s actually more advanced than a lot of people realize because it allows for a layering system. High-tech outdoor attire now for hikers, climbers and runners always work on a layering system: a base layer that goes close to the skin, a few insulating layers and an outer shell for the wind and rain. The advantage of this system is that it never puts you in a position of being really hot or really cold but allows you to tweak the temperature as you warm from activity or cool off. Now, exactly the same is true of sheets and blankets on a bed….
You see, when you get into bed at the beginning of the night you’ll probably have the room at a warm temperature; but as the night progresses the room will cool down. You might need to add layers by putting more blankets on top, or remove layers. With a thick duvet, you’re stuck with either being too hot or sleeping on top of it and being too cold.
Having said this, the duvet option has obvious advantages too. It provides a loose and stable covering for the body which can be made to match your sleeping habits and temperature perfectly if you choose the right tog. Given that it ranges from 1 to 18 there’s a duvet out there for everyone. Of course, there’s the convenience of making the bed in the morning with a duvet too! For a nice round-up of the top duvets now on the market check out this article.
Finally, there’s the option of electric blankets. Some are put off by these but once you get the hang of them they prove a darn sight better than a hot water bottle. And now that they’re compatible with your smartphone it’s ridiculously easy to control everything so that the bed is just perfect for when you’re ready to get in it.
Pillows should generally be chosen depending on your posture whilst sleeping. As the body rests in different positions it means that it will be stressed in different areas. Some will prefer a very soft down pillow, and this will probably mainly be those who sleep on their side. Others say those who sleep on their back, might prefer a firmer pillow made using memory foam to support the neck better.
This one is really a question of preference as only you can say what makes you most comfortable. And of course there are those who actually prefer to sleep without a pillow at all, and if that does happen to be you then don’t be swayed by the crowd. We get into all sorts of funny positions when we sleep, and as long as you’re not placing undue stress on the neck over the long term, then there’s no problem at all in going without a pillow.
So there you have it, from bed size all the way through to pillow options, now there’s no excuse not to get a great night’s sleep!
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